Imagine life as a sock, sweaty and gross one minute and then thrown around in the wash the next. Driving a race car is a lot like being a sock.
In a race car, you're confined to a hot and slightly terrifying place, punctuated by the g-forces of the tumble cycle. Porsche's road cars aren't quite brutal enough for you to contemplate your existence as a sock, but the same company that makes SUVs, sedans, sports cars, and (coming soon) EVs, also makes race cars—track-only, roll-cage-equipped, six-point-belt, numbers-on-the-door, slick-tire, dollars-to-Daytona race cars, such as the 911 GT2 RS-based GT2 RS Clubsport and 935.
Pay to Play
Provided you can write a check for $478,000, you can turn laps in the 911 GT2 RS Clubsport until your arms fall off. In case you don't know your head from a Hurley Haywood, the 935 is a $829,000 homage to Porsche's flared and radically powerful 935 race cars from the 1970s. Where you can race them is still up in the air, but Porsche promises that both will be eligible for more than just track days. We definitely didn't have the cash to buy either, which is fine because they're only making 200 of the GT2 and 77 of the 935. Fortunately, Porsche invited us to drive their new 700-hp customer race cars at the Lausitzring in Germany.
Before we go any further, we should make clear that the GT2 RS Clubsport and the 935 are the same car underneath their disparate body work. Both feature a seven-speed dual-clutch automatic transmission, an adjustable suspension, carbon-fiber bodywork, and the 700-hp engine from the GT2 RS production model. Like the street-going version, the hamsters who toil in the depths of the twin-turbo 3.8-liter flat-six would appreciate it if you'd refill the distilled water reservoir before you set any lap times.
Nerves and the potential shame of scattering carbon-fiber shards all over the track tempered our initial speeds at the Lausitzring. But the magic of these cars' tuning and setup is that once you adjust to the grip, sound, heat, and brakes, they work so brilliantly, which we somewhat expected given how impressively the standard GT2 RS performed at our Lightning Lap event at Virginia International Raceway. The Clubsport and 935 are so reliably trusty that before you know it, you're pushing much harder than you thought you ever would in things this rare, expensive, and borrowed. It's possible to over-drive them—to accelerate out of corners too soon or dive in on a 700-hp bender—and they won't bite back because the light and grippy chassis comes right back. Porsche claims the Clubsport and 935 weigh about 3050 pounds, or more than 300 pounds less than the street-legal GT2 RS, and their Michelin Pilot Sport GT slick tires have so much grip that you'll bruise your ribs against their one-piece Recaro racing seats.
Stability control only steps in to correct the stupidest moves, and traction control can be felt tugging away a few of the horses when you accelerate hard over big bumps. Both systems can be disabled, but we left them on for our laps because pride comes before the fall. The brakes are what took us the longest to figure out. The pedal requires a lot of leg strength, but it also sinks deeper toward the floor than you expect. Once you adjust to the effort and the travel, the brakes feel as if they could stop a commercial airliner. Off the front straight, we kept inching deeper and deeper into the braking zone, and the stoppers never minded being hit with 156 mph of energy, nor did the race rubber.
There are massive and adjustable wings hanging off the back of both cars, but aside from the straights, the track configuration we ran lacked the speeds that would've made the most of their available downforce. Still, the mechanical grip and the ease of controlling the Clubsport and the 935 is a revelation. Suddenly, 700 horsepower and a half-million (or nearly a million in the 935's case) bucks doesn't seem like too much. Porsche's race-car experience is next-level stuff. The Clubsport and 935 are to a road-going GT2 RS what a regular 911 Turbo is to a GT2 RS. More demanding, sweatier, and more likely to leave you feeling like a sock.
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